CD's for power?

I was cleaning my room and found a load of blank CD's. It made me think of all the AOL discs that my house used to get. So I got to thinking - There's a lot of power wasted on these things, right? So, my job for you, Instructables users, is to help me engineer a way to use these CD's to generate solar, wind, tidal, geothermal energy, whatever. Anything renewable. Any ideas?

Topic by A good name 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Green Motor

Hey, i am not good at electronics, but heres the idea: i have "planned" an energy saving motor. Anyway there would be a motor, say, driving a bike. The on the wheel's gear we could put another motor, which is for producing electricity. I am not too sure, but i think it produces AC current. But we need DC to drive the first motor (the one moving the bike). So hook up an AC to DC converter to the second motor (the one producing electricity). Then hook some diodes to the wires connecting the first motor from its power source. I think the wires going out from the power source needs diodes, too, since it allows current to flow in one direction (technical term called forward biased? ). To prevent the first motor driving the bike from "burning", a voltage regulator and a current regulator should be needed, right? That's basically the plan. I would be glad to be corrected if i got anything wrong. Thanks.

Topic by J50Nunlimited 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


solar power?

I want to get these 12v solar battery chargers they come with alligator clamps to hook to the battery. i want to get enough for 200 volts so how would i hook the solar panels in series, and do i need a controller for each battery? and how would i rig that up and how can I get it going into all the 12 volt batteries without any damage to the batteries etc. And can this be done for less than $400 if the solar panels are $30 each and the batteries are $14 each. THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!!  THANK YOU!!!! oh and could you give me links for all the stuff I'm gonna be buying. THANKS!!!!

Question by jimmerforpoy 9 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


green air cooler Answered

Is there a way of cooling the air without directly using electricity? using ice cubes or something. my power bill is already very scary

Question by mrsthursday 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Help!! Hydro power

Hello! I need step by step instructions which shows how to build a hydro power system. I have to do this for a small hostel in the mountains. It needs to make 12v atleast and will use a alternator.I will need lots of help from you guys to build it all.Particulatly on the runner(what type for best efficiency,how to build it, cost, tools)and on the housing for the turbine(what material to use,it will have to be very durable and strong).I am an electronics expert so no need to explain to me what is what. Include a circuit which can charge a 12v battery bank . I am aware how a rectifier can be used to convert the alternator's AC to DC.I would like the rectifier circuit too.Added bonus if you show me how to make a housing for the turbine.Also I would like a homemade charge controller circuit too.The controller will have to have dump load options as well.If you can give a good way to water proof the whole thing... Kudos to you I will need all the plans for this project Alternator, Charge controller ,Blades, How to best wire battery bank etc. Please explain what materials to use etc. And please be aware this will be a rather low budget project.I prefer maximum efficiency and please do not worry yourself about where i will get flowing water etc.And please post your own pics if possible.It may not be possible for me to use power tools and a welder,I prefer simple tools, if not, no problem.

Topic by mhkabir 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


240vdc to 240vac power generation ?

I’m curious as to why most wind turbines and solar panel inverters generally range from 12-48vdc why cant it just be generated at 240vdc and convert that into 240vac? My understanding is that higher voltage means less current therefore less resistance and heat produced, resulting in a more efficient system. I always hear about inverters generating a lot of heat under load. Does anyone know if this is possible? I'm looking into building a wind turbine to feed power back into the grid, but the cost of inverters are making it an unfeasible project. cheers.

Question by grimgroper 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Go Green this weekend

Just a reminder that the Instructables, Popular Science, and TreeHugger Go Green! contest ends on August 19. That's just over a week away! So if you were planning on entering something in the contest, make use of this weekend and put together an Instructable about it.Grand PrizeThe grand prize winner will receive a Breezer Liberty hybrid commuter bicycle with pedal-powered lights, a brief write-up in a future issue of Popular Science, and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science magazine.First Prize5 first prize winners will each receive a Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger (TreeHugger review here), an Instructables robot t-shirt, and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science magazine.Second Prize10 second prize winners will each receive an Instructables robot t-shirt and a 1-year subscription to Popular Science Magazine.

Topic by fungus amungus 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Top Green Transportation Instructables

Saving the planet and saving money, all while getting to where you need to go? The secret: green transportation. These Instructables show you how to travel to your next destination in a more environmentally-friendly way. Solar Powered Tricycle This solar-powered trike, a Judges' Prize winner of the Park Tool Bike Month Contest and a Second Prize Winner of the Discover Green Science Fair Contest, can go short distances without emitting any pollutants and never needs to be plugged in.   Electric Motorcycle If you want to convert an existing motorcycle into an electrically-powered one, you can try this 96-volt version--or you could opt for a different 72-volt model. Electric Scooter Upgrade Superpower a small electric scooter into a fast, furious traveling machine with this detailed power upgrade. Green Helmet Green transportation doesn't have to be limited to your vehicle: this LED, all-weather helmet runs on solar power. Bike Generator Biking is already a great way to travel, but it can be even more green if your bike lights are powered by your wheels as you move. Biodiesel Processor Instead of traditional fuel, biodiesel reuses waste oil and turns it into diesel. This biodiesel processor will help you successfully make your own biodiesel. And, of course, you can always create a new way (and Instructable) to travel without hurting the environment.

Topic by joshf 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Solar - Powered Batteries

Check out these cool batteries! Their creator is Knut Karlsen.See what he said:At home i always have some batteries lying around, either rechargeable or normal ones. Usually they are empty, but i'd like them to be always fully charged. I could use a normal charger and there is a lot of solar devices that charge rechargeable batteries. I wanted it simpler; why hasn't anyone made a battery with integrated solar cells? The idea of the "SunCat" batteries where born. The batteries should just bask in the sun like a cat and left for a while, in a sunny window, they would slowly recharge.For more details visit this site.Thanks!Stanislav

Topic by comodore 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Using body heat as a power source

You've heard of geo-thermal energy, but what about homeo-thermal energy? I know I sure haven't, mostly because I just made up that word :) Bad portmanteaus aside, what do you guys think of this concept? Running or charging things using the body heat you generate throughout the day and especially during the night. I'm not sure how plausible it actually is, or how efficient it is, but I thought it'd be a nice project to start working on and wanted to know what you guys think of it. Is it worth-while? Too complicated? Not scientific enough? I'm interested in your feedback! :)

Topic by kenizl86 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Wind-powered phone-charger

Here's one for the tower-block dwellers - a wind turbine you stick to your window. On the inside, you stick the matching base-station, and the set uses electromagnetic induction to transfer energy from the spinning turbine to the phone in the charger's cradle. It's a neat idea, but I don't know if it's a real product - I tried tracing the links back, and ended up going round in circles in the blogosphere. What I am sure of, though, is that somebody reading this has got the skills and motivation to build their own version.  You don't need to use the same design of turbine blades, and it's up to you how it sticks to the window (suckers?  magnets through the glass?), but I bet you can do it. Just remember to post an Instructable. Traced back to Yanko Design.  Originally seen on NOTCOT.

Topic by Kiteman 8 years ago


Power strip measures energy use, costs much more than separate power strip and monitor

Again, anyone want to collaborate to make our own? This thing Cut down on energy costs and reduce your electric bill. Simply plug the easy-to-use Power Cost Controller with surge protection into the wall and connect your electronics to the power strip to see how efficient it really is. Large LCD display will count consumption and cost by the kilowatt-hour, same as your local utility. Monitor your electric consumption by hour, day, week, month, even an entire year. Also check the quality of your power by monitoring voltage, line frequency, and power factor. Measures 8-1800W appliances. Now you'll know how much your computer network or home media center really costs! Replaceable 1.5V battery included.

Topic by laminterious 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Generate Power from water leaving your home

It occurs to me that a lot of power is supplied to pump water into my home -- into my showers, dishwasher, sinks, toilets, etc. And then, as that water plummets from the second story bathroom back into the ground, it builds up a lot of power due to gravity -- and it just goes whooshing away. So let's develop some sort of mechanism that will harvest the energy of that moving water as it leaves our homes. The initial thought is turbines or wheels, sure, but you have to remember the stuff that is leaving the house in that water: hair, food scraps, and all your bathroom functions. So we need to either develop a system that cannot be jammed, filter & divert the water before it reaches our device, or develop a system that harvests the energy without interfering with the flow.

Topic by drbrettschneider 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


39% and climbing - renewable resources in Portugal.

In the UK, less than 5% of our electricity comes from "green", renewable resources.In Portugal, they generate 39% of their power with renewables, and that is set to climb.These red "snakes" - the Pelamis wave-power system - are built in the UK (but guess which government hasn't invested in them?), and Portugal is also investing heavily in wind, solar and hydro-electricity.Link to photo storyIf one of the poorest countries in Europe can manage this, why can't the rest of us?

Topic by Kiteman 11 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


A different kind of Turbine

Check out this new design for a wind turbine.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7827044.stm

Topic by Yeasayer 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Biofuel Solar Power Plant

PG&E; has a signed a deal with a Portuguese firm that is building a hybrid biofuel solar power plant in the Central Valley area of California. The plant will combine solar power with agricultural waste to produce energy--a very enterprising solution to get energy from an abundant, eco-friendly source.Link

Topic by joshf 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Fixing green laser lense

Last year I bought a 5mw eBay laser (green 532nm wavelength) and it had an adjustable focus. I scratched the lens and it never focus right so I took the lens off. Now I am interested in fixing it again and I don't know how to get/make/buy/obtain a new lens for the laser. It always said it was 5mw but I think it was more powerful because it could burn through bags, light leaves on fire, pop balloons, light matches at 6 inches. This is what the laser looked like. http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Power-Military-Adjustable-Focus-Green-Laser-Pointer-Pen-5mw-Silver-/281269467436?pt=US_Laser_Pointers&hash;=item417cf7792c

Question by waterrocketexpert 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Solar powered Cthulhubot

Cthulhu, one of the Great Old Ones, is now green.Etsy member tinyminds has made a solar powered Cthulhubot. It remains dormant while it soaks up sun rays, but when its had its fill of energy, it begins to flail its tentacles all about while the mere mortals scream and shout.Link via BoingBoing

Topic by Tetranitrate 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Low Power pc?

Right for some time now I have been thinking of building a computer that is low power 20w max needs to have some processing power preferable duel core i have been looking at 'intel D510MO' link to spec > http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191127 What i would like is for someone to advise me on what to buy to keep the power low (20w or less) and the performance high at a fairly low price

Question by Daniel Deacon 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago



Green Science Fair Winners

Instructables and Discover Magazine are happy to announce the winners of the Discover Green Science Fair for a Better Planet Contest!We asked you to show us some great green ideas and you responded with a flood of them. Over 200 Instructables were submitted over the past few weeks and tons of useful information has been put out there to help others with their own green projects. You are all an inspiration, truly.Thank you for putting so much time and effort into these Instructables. As always, we wish we had more prizes to give out. Now, on with the winners! First 10 Entries For jumping into the contest early, the authors of these Instructables will receive a Discover Magazine t-shirt. Ways to be green How to get FREE 9 Volt Batteries Recycle plastic grocery bags into Loons! Tips on how to improve gas mileage All-Natural Incense Burner Science Fair Display Board How to recycle an old sweater How to Boycott the Bottle Easy Seed Starter Supercharged Lemon Runners-UpThe authors of these Instructables will each receive a copy of 20 Things You Didn't Know About Everything, a book from the Editors at Discover magazine. Mini Wooden Portable Compost Bin How to build a 72Volt electric motorcycle How to Make an Easy Inverted Planter £5 Japanese lamp from recycled materials Trickle charging auto-switching LED helmet Make your own plastic tote bag from recycled plastic bags From old Tourist Map to Gift Bag How to Make A Solar Powered Fan! solar lawn mower How To Smell Pollutants Third Prize The authors of these Instructables will each receive an Eton FR150 Microlink, a Solar-Powered, Crank-powered Portable Radio with Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger. Cheap solar tracker Organic planting pots from newspapers Bike Generator Recycled Denim Shopping Bag The Green Pail Retained Heat Cooker Second Prize The authors of these Instructables will each receive a Sansa Express 1GB MP3 player, Instructables Robot t-shirt, patch, and stickers. Solar Powered Trike Urban Homestead Garden (squarefoot gardening abridged) First Prize The author of this Instructable will receive a Celestron Skyscout that uses advanced GPS technology with point and click convenience to identify thousands of stars, planets, constellations and more. Plus Instructables Robot t-shirt, patch, and stickers. Make Your Own Biodiesel Processor Thank you to all of our judges for helping to choose the winners. Colin Bulthaup (CTO of Potenco, co-founder Squid Labs)Christy Canida (Instructables)Stephen Cass (Senior Editor at Discover Magazine) Saul Griffith (President of Makani Power, co-founder Squid Labs, MacArthur Fellow) Corwin Hardham (CTO of Makani Power, co-founder Squid Labs)Jeremy Jacquot (treehugger.com, USC student in environmental sciences) Tom Kostigen (co-author of The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time)Ed Lewis (Instructables)Corey Powell (Executive Editor at Discover Magazine) Sarah Richardson (Senior Editor at Discover Magazine) Gemma Shusterman (Media Lab grad, Juror for the 2008 SIGGRAPH art gallery)Tyghe Trimble (News Editor at Discover Magazine)Eric Wilhelm (Instructables, co-founder Squid Labs) Daniel Wilson (Roboticist, author of How to Build a Robot Army) Laura Wright (Senior Editor of On Earth Magazine, published by the Natural Resources Defense Council)

Topic by fungus amungus 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Green car mod roundup

Treehugger has a nice roundup of mods that people have made to their cars to make them more efficient or run on alternative fuels. They even included the Honda Accord that runs on trash in the list, which is pretty cool. Other mods include wood-burning cars, biodiesels, wood-burners, solar-power, hydrogen, and aerodynamic enhancements. Check out the link for the slideshow. Note: there are 17 slides, not 17 cars. 17 DIY Cars Hacked for Fuel Efficiency

Topic by fungus amungus 9 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


Green and sexy car show

The Morgan LIFE car will get it's first UK airing at the Eden Project next weekend.The Morgan LIFE car, probably the sexiest green car in existence is a fuel cell-powered electricsports car built by Morgan Motor Company and startup efficient transport company RiverSimple. Research and development is by QinetiQ, Linde, Cranfield University and backed by BERR. This is its first UK outing.Four stacks of fuel cells convert the hydrogen fuel into electricity to run a super efficient motor generator attached to each wheel. Energy recovered in braking is stored in ultra capacitors rather than batteries, and end to end the performance is estimated to be equivalent to a 150mpg petrol engine. With a top speed of 85mph, 0-60 in less than 7 seconds and a 250 mile range, the mix of technology has been packaged by Morgan to add yet another unique twist to the project. Using only the best and lightest materials, aluminium, wood and leather, the Morgan DNA is clearly visible, adding a new dimension into an environmentally sensitive concept.And Lotus will be showcasing their most powerful Exige yet:The Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel is the most powerful version of the Lotus Exige ever, and it runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. It is the latest research vehicle from Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of Group Lotus plc.Emerging technologies will allow alcohol fuels such as methanol, already a proven internal combustion fuel, to be made synthetically from CO2 extracted from the atmosphere. A fuel derived renewably from atmospheric CO2 would be a key piece of the jigsaw allowing society to transfer to sustainable, renewable, carbon-neutral internal combustion.Lotus Engineering is researching the use of sustainable synthetic alcohols as future fuels for introduction within 15 - 20 years.The Exige 270E Tri-fuel is part of Lotus' research into the complex combustion and calibration processes for powering vehicles on mixtures of alcohol fuels and gasoline, which will be important for a successful transition from today's fuels. Its flex-fuel technology gives a practical route to the introduction of sustainable synthetic fuels. Using an alcohol sensor in the fuel system and the advanced Lotus engine management system, the Exige 270E Tri-fuel runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. This is all happening at the Eden Project in Cornwall, one of the UK's flagship environmental projects, with some of the world's largest biodomes built into an old claypit.All the major manufacturers will be flaunting their newest, greenest models including Ford, Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Volkswagen, SEAT, Honda, Axon, Lotus, Saab and Morgan. Vectrix's electric motorcycle will also be on show, and the hydrogen-powered Morgan LIFE car will make its first public appearance (in the UK).There will also be exhibitors demonstrating how to maintain and even insure your car in a greener way. One stand will feature a driving simulator that they claim can teach you to drive in such a way that your carbon emissions are cut by 15%, there will be a pedal-car race track for the kids, and a Grow Your Own car trail around the rainforest.We visited last Summer, and can recommend it to anybody. If your not aiming for a specific event, go on a Tuesday (it's quieter) and check opening times - opening times on some days are several hours longer than others.Eden Project

Topic by Kiteman 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Solar, Wind, or Water Power: What is your green energy source?

From solar to aquatic, what are your forms of renewable energy? Any new ideas? I know another post in the "Green" topic talked about a gravity-powered LED lamp. What next?

Topic by KKremke 5 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


How do you make solar cells (Any type)?

Gimmie a homemade solar cell instructable and you'll be my new hero! I bet if I started now I could beat nanosolar to market. Especially if I took my sweet time.

Question by RT10K 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Can I build an LED "light bulb" from the guts of a screw in CFL bulb?

I am looking to take a CFL bulb and take the glass out of the top. Would the components inside the light work if I build an LED light from it? So basically I want to remove the glass and in its place use LEDs to illuminate instead. Got any suggestions or links that might be useful? Thanks AFF

Question by AFF 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Help designing solar roof for a van

So i plan on collecting a crap load of those little solar yard lights, taking out the solar panels till i have enough to cover the roof of my van. But from there i dont know where to go and i dont have much experience with making electronics, it would be nice to have them charge a battery or something, not sure. ideas, comments or plans would be greatly appreciated. j

Topic by deth2all 11 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


How much power can these LEDs handle?

I'm working on a project and I would like to connect two green LEDs two ultra bright Red LEDs and 2 blue LEDs. I got the green leds from radio shack so i know they need 2.1v dc, 25ma but the red ones and blue ones I got from some old toys so I don't know what they need. Any Ideas how much power I would need if I connected them in series? I have a bunch of old wall warts of varying sizes (9v 350ma, 9v 210ma, 5v 1a, 12v 750ma 12v 150ma) but only a few LEDs so I don't want to fry them and I don't need to push them to the limts. Here's some pics of my LEDs the small one is the blue one and the other clear one is Red.

Topic by cannedham160 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


What is the cheapest, most powerful green laser on the net? Answered

And by most powerful, I mean longest range. And under $100?

Question by 007dna 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Biofuel powered water pump, no moving parts and modular!

I just added a video about how to make one. http://blip.tv/file/4142099 It is probably not what you are expecting. I made the prototype and it works. Brian

Topic by gaiatechnician 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago



Solar charger with power plug input? Answered

I love all the solar pieces on instructables, but I was wondering if you can make a solar charged device with a power plug input in it so anything can be plugged in such as a phone charger without having to dedicate the solar charger to one item by ripping up an existing phone charger. Thanks

Question by toil_and_spin 10 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


ATX power supply conversion

I know this is a long passed DIY. But while building a ATX Power supply I separated all the wires as stated. I then put the green and a black wire to a switch and added the 3 brown leads to the orange leads. When I plug in the unit the supply light comes on, but when I turn the green wire switch the main power LED goes out and no fan comes on. It acts like the switch is shutting the unit off.  Can anyone help. I am 60 years old and just getting into doing some bench work to pass the time. Thanks for any help.

Topic by Shorty954 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


Tiny Wind Turbines that Could Power a Home

Everybody wants to have a cleaner Earth, but few of them take any actions. One of those people is Doug Selsam, who designed high-power wind turbines that can generate enough energy to power a home. The wind turbines measure about 14-18 inches in diameter and they can generate an impressive amount of 200 watts for a 20 mph wind, but the wind turbines could do better if the winds are stronger.Selsam's wind turbines are made of high-strength carbon fiber materials which give the turbines the possibility to be hooked as one. This system is very simple and it weighs a bit, as you see, it can be held in one hand. For the moment, there is no word about release date or availability, therefore I can only say that it's an interesting conceptOriginal Link (via Device Daily)

Topic by Keith-Kid 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Concentrated Solar Power Hits Pop Culture in the Best Way

Check out this graphic of concentrated solar collectors on Saul's new skateboard. My first skateboard had a dragon sitting on top of a pile of human skulls. We've come along way, I guess.

Topic by ewilhelm 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


What Can I HacK to Find Magnets? The POWERFUL the better.

Just wondering where I can find magnets for a project.. I was thinking about trying to make a magnet motor . Button shape magnets would work great.. But I dont really want to buy magnets cause the kinda cost alot. So I just want to start with what I can get until I get it working. Then I'll invest in magnets later. Since you guys/gals take alot of things appart I'm sure you know where I can start looking. thanks.

Question by PitStoP 10 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


How can I generate electricity from a spinning wheel?

How can I turn the spinning of a small wheel/gear into electricity and then subsequently charge a battery with it??

Topic by SiliconSoul 7 years ago  |  last reply 16 days ago


Automatic Standby Switch

I stumbled upon this little gadget...and thought I'd share it with you all. It seems like something that a lot of you could make pretty easily. The concept is simple, it plugs into the wall, and your device plugs into it. As soon as it detects your appliance/device is in standby mode, it cuts the power. Just a simple way to save the power that your junk sucks in when you're not using it. As NachoMahma pointed out to me, one big improvement would be automatic reset. Anyways, if someone wants to give it a shot, i'd love to see the instructable on it.

Topic by Weissensteinburg 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Wind harmonic generator?

I had this idea a while ago. There's a nylon strap strung between two trees. It's let's say 2 cm wide and 5 meters long. A strong wind is blowing across it so that the strap is resonating, displacing through, say, 20 cm at 10 Hz. What is the maximum power involved? If you had one or more wire coils running the length generating current, what kind of efficiency over all could you expect? I'm thinking of this as an ultra cheap and easy means of wind generation.

Topic by SolarFlower_org 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Wind powered desktop PC, is it remotely possible?

So I was thinking up an idea this afternoon about how I could be more of a PC enthusiast, I came up with this idea: What if I could power a desktop grade PC on just the power supplied by a wind turbine (preferably that I had made myself), and batteries? My plan was to set up a (either or) BOINC Computer specifically for research, or something like a DNS/VPN server or failing that something like a NAS. Anyway, heres what I have been able to find so far in terms of wind turbines and power... http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/ https://www.instructables.com/answers/how-to-battery-power-a-desktop-pc/ It seems way over my head, especially the second link to the other question. Computer Specs that I had in mind: Intel i5 K series chip of sorts 8-16 GB of (presumably DDR3 memory) A motherboard, again, not sure exactly what but this can be chosen nearer the time, if it helps, something with around 2-4 PCI-e lanes for numerous GPUs. (This is NOT meant to be a gaming rig). A couple of GTX 760's I was having in mind, something older will do too. (This would be using the CUDA technology for accelerated processing) A Power supply that would fit the bill... 1000 watts? May be needed depending on the number of GPUs I have. I am so ignorantly unaware of how this would work.  Other things that I would need: - A wind turbine that was able to charge batteries during the day (for example) - Batteries - Some sort of converter (I think) to change whatever AC power there may be into DC. I think that is what I need,  Thanks in advance! slippers.

Topic by slippers_ 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


photovoltaic or solar thermal? Answered

I've been designing a high tech, off grid, self sufficient home over the past few months as a hobby. So far it consists of an artificial island floating on recycled plastic bottles and other buoyant devices (see: Spiral island) with an average sized house made of recycled shipping containers and plywood with a greenhouse. I basically want it to be a more high tech version of Spiral Island, but I have two questions. 1.) I'm trying to decide on whether or not I should use a Solar thermal generator or an array of Photovoltaic panels, but which has a better efficiency rate in terms of power and cost? 2.) Does anyone have any suggestions on plumbing? cause so far all I've thought of is a self composting toilet, but it would be really cool to have running water.

Question by tieguy 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


What can you tell me about Stirling engines?

I'm interested in using a Stirling engine in a solar energy project. From reading around and doing some numbers it looks like I'll need around 1.5 kilowatts, and something in the vicinity of 30% efficiency or upwards would be nice, though I realise this may be overly optimistic. So, what's available, how much will it cost, what temperature differential is ideal, how big and heavy are these things, etc. Any info I get would enormously helpful. Cheers, Daniel.

Topic by SolarFlower_org 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


Scottish Island Stays off Grid - replaces diesels with 95% Green resources.

The Scottish island of Eigg (pronounced "Egg") has never had mains electricity, and has had to rely in expensive diesel generators for the power they do use.Devices that require 24/7 supplies, such as fridges, have been an unknown luxury.Today, though, that all changes:A renewable energy supply giving the Isle of Eigg power 24-hours-a-day has come online for the first time.The £1.6m system for the island in the Small Isles between Skye and the Ardnamurchan peninsula uses a mix of hydro, wind and solar power.It has been designed to generate more than 95% of Eigg's annual energy demand and is backed up by a battery storage system and two diesel generators.Residents have previously relied on diesel generators and hydro schemes.The dream of green power has taken 10 years to realise. A total of 45 households, 20 businesses and six community buildings on the island are linked together by six miles of buried cable that forms a high voltage network.The whole project was organised by the community themselves - at the switch-on ceremony (in the local tea shop), the island's children gathered round a candle-lit map of the island and blew the candles out as the power came on.Before the switch-on:homes were powered by diesel, wind or hydro-generatorselectricity was unreliable and restricted to certain hourssome residents went without washing machines and vacuum cleanersthe noise from the generators could be heard for milesDiesel was delivered by boat but services sometimes cancelledBBC News storyBBC Magazine article, with comments.

Topic by Kiteman 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Solar "Generator"

Since I've always wanted to do something like this and I found this site, it's about to happen! I found a smaller version with what I wanted to do at Popular Science but I want to do something on a larger scale. I do have some questions though that I'm hoping someone can answer or point me in the correct direction.I'm going to describe what I'm doing with what and what I have questions with.I'm going to be buying this solar panel and charge controller kit. Sunforce Solar Panel With Charge ControllerA deep cycle 115 AMP Hour 12 V marine battery from Wal-Mart with Plastic Battery caseSalvaged wood Toy BoxMeter Question: How to meter how many amp hours I have left or how charged the battery is? What kind of meter to buy? Where? (not too expensive <20 bucks or so) how to hook it up.A 12 V accessory outlet with on off switch Question: I'm putting an inline fuse before the switch, 15A the line fuse goes on the + (positive) side correct?A 700 Watt 6.25 AMP DC to AC converter with 4 outlets connected to it. Question: can I put a breaker or fuse between the 4 outlets I'm going to be plugging into on the outside and the plug being plugged into the DC to AC converter? If so how?USB ports for charging with on off switch. Question: how do I convert the 12V to 5V in an easy way? I've seen some creative ideas on here for charging VIA salvaged USB ports but I don't want to have to hook it up to my power inverter if I don't have to. Cooling/ventilation for the entire thing. Any ideas how I might cool/vent it? Currently I'm thinking of using old computer fans and put them on both sides of the toy box and have 2 blowing and 2 blowing out. Having the fans run off of the solar panel during the day and either have a switch to change it to battery at night (if it's too warm in the house) or maybe photo sense it? Temp sensor to turn it on and off? Or a switch to turn it off completely. I'm just looking for idea's to keep the battery (and to expand to be more than one battery) cool/ventilated. If you have examples or detailed description on how to do it that'd be great. I'm not one to steal ideas so I'll credit the idea's I'm given if I use them =)I'm going to see how much I can run off of this and how long. Hopefully save some big time energy also!Thanks all!

Topic by oddie1212 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago



How to Convert Speed to Power in a DC Motor?

I need power from my small DC motor, not speed. I have a few small DC motors that run like wild, they have speed, but what I need from them is to run very slowly, about 1 revolution per 4-5 seconds, but I need it to have power, power to lift something...that something isn't to heavy... My point is they need to go slow, very slow, but to have a bit more power.How do I convert Speed from a DC motor to Power ???Thank you!Comodore

Question by comodore 10 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


will a green filter still collect sunlight? Answered

I'm trying to make a sun jar. I've got myself a flip-top jar. the garden light is still pending. but I have a problem (or do I?)- the lid is green. will the green glass still allow the solar panels to get power? or will I have to do something else?

Question by codongolev 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Does anyone have a portable power idea?

I ride a mad max-esque motorcycle as my main mode of transportation. I was wondering if anyone has a solution for portable turbine or some such that I can attach to the bike so I can charge my various gizmos.

Question by 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Solar Windmills

Of the various renewable energy sources out there, solar and wind are among the most popular. Already windmills are springing up in various parts of the country. This got me thinking, what if you used some of that space on the windmill to harvest some energy. For example, what if you attached solar cells to the windmill rotors of tower to harvest extra power. What do you guys think?

Topic by purduecer 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


How to build a car powered by a savonius/wind turbine

Hello! I have seen an interesting experimental car on German TV. It is a small car, in which a wind driven helix directly trasmits the mechanic energy to the wheels. The car moves, even against wind direction. That car was equipped with a tall helix perpendicular to the main axis. I think that a savonius turbine would be more effective because it can exploit winds coming from every direction. Does anybody have any ideas or plans to realize a similar car?

Topic by isacco 10 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago